Integration

The definition of “integrate” found in Webster’s dictionary is “to blend into a functioning or unified whole.”  Every believer is first and foremost a child of God, a soldier in God’s army, a bond-servant to our Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.  This identity should take preeminence over any other role we fill in life.  To foster and nurture this identity, we must give our full and constant attention to integrating the Word of God into our daily lives.  We cannot be effective as God’s child, soldier or bond-servant if we only think about His Word and kingdom a few times a week.  His Word and Will must permeate our thinking so that every choice and situation is seen, evaluated and filtered through the Word.

Jesus lived like this.  He said that He only did what He saw His Father do. (Jn 5:19) Jesus was a real person.  He lived a life like ours.  He had to choose the clothes to wear and the food to eat, but He was always listening to the Father.  He was always aware of His presence.  Even at 12 years old, His attention was on the kingdom, staying behind in Jerusalem as his family left the city to return home after the Passover feasts. (Lk 2:41-52) This kingdom-first mindset requires an active remembrance throughout the day of God’s Word.  Every choice whether personal or professional should be preceded with “what does God’s Word say about this?”

God knows our hearts and our thoughts.  He knows exactly where He ranks in our priorities.  We might fool ourselves or others by saying god comes first, but is that the truth?  The proof of our earnest desire is in our pursuit.  Do we pursue God in our discretionary time?  Do we arrange our days to provide time to read the Word and pray?  Do we think about God and His Word throughout the day?  The truthful answers to these questions will reveal the success of our integration.

God cares about our every minute.  He cares and wants to be involved in everything, not just “the big things.”  Much of the Old Testament reveals that the underlying flaw of the Israelites is their repeated neglect of God’s Word.  They would adhere to it for a while and then turn away from it, not obeying His commands or considering His instructions.  They often followed their own logic or found “better” ways of doing things.  God knows the best way and wants only good for His people then and now.  If we neglect the Word and never consult Him regarding our decisions, the limitless power that Jesus died to provide for us cannot function.  The necessary connection or integration of God’s Word cannot be achieved by hearing a sermon once or twice a week.  It cannot be achieved by attending a meeting or two or even by volunteering once a month.  The necessary integration involves time designated every day to sit at the feet of Jesus by opening the Bible to read and hear His Words of instruction and promise.  As we determine to integrate God into every part of our day by praising Him, thanking Him and recalling His Words, He is free to manifest His presence and power, making those everyday activities remarkable and extraordinary.

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